An opening to the sea

  • 2010-07-15
  • By Ella Karapetyan

HOIST THE SAILS: Landlubbers get to take part in the seafaring festivities.

TALLINN - Tallinn lies on a historically unique crossroads by the sea. It is a seaside city, but it is still not fully open to the sea, and this is why Tallinn Maritime Days are organized, to open the city up to the sea. From July 16-18, Tallinn will host Tallinn Maritime Days 2010, a festival open to all citizens and guests of the capital. During the Maritime Days a dozen unique sailing ships will come to Tallinn and will be open to the public while moored by the Admiralty and in the port of Lennusadam.

Tallinn’s Maritime Days will be the biggest free family event in Tallinn this summer, which will include a sailing regatta, a swimming competition and an amazing boat dance show with a police and Border Guard flying squad to Tallinn Bay.
By 2011, when Tallinn will become the culture capital of Europe, the Tallinn Maritime Days will turn into the most important event of the beach area. But this year Maritime Days will involve substantial maritime and harbor related programs, concerts, boat trips, water related attractions and performances.

This year’s festival will offer more seaside entertainment than ever before. On July 17, attendees on the waterfront promenade will be able to cheer on the competitors in a major swimming competition, while on July 18 bystanders will enjoy a regatta of Olympic 49ers.

In the program there is also a place for the jazz area, which proved to be a huge success in 2009. Another not less popular event was the Maritime Gala concert and ‘Seaside Story’ song and dance festival arranged especially for the Maritime Days, which was also warmly welcomed by those who attended. Another quite popular event during Maritime Days 2009 was the concert given by the Estonian ensemble Vaikeste Lootspillide Uhing, which drew an enormous crowd to the Lennusadam seaplane port.

This year it will be held by the Admiraliteedi inlet, where two floating docks for around 60 small vessels will be opened. “One of our greatest innovations this year is the fact that small boats will be able to come to Maritime Days as well, at the Admiraliteedi inlet, at Lennusadam and at Peetri harbor,” explained the festival’s project manager Eva Saar. “It’s one of the ways in which we’re pursuing the Capital of Culture idea of opening the city up to the sea.”

Tallinn Maritime Days was a real success last year and was attended by around 50,000 people.
The sailors who had come to Tallinn for three days also appreciated the warm reception they received, and promised to return to the city whenever opportunity allowed. “I’d heard a lot of good things about Tallinn, and this gave me the perfect chance to find out more about it and about its port for myself,” said Karl Zilmer, captain of the Danish vessel “George Stage.” “It’s really great here.” The crew of the Sorlandet, the pride of Norway, constructed in 1927, shared Zilmer’s views.
Those who attended events at the seaplane port and at Admiraliteedi Inlet said that they were well pleased with the fish market that had been set up for the Maritime Days. Many suggested in fact that Tallinn should have a proper fish market operating all year round.

“I am a tourist from Russia and I have come to take part in Tallinn Maritime Days 2010. This is already the second year when I visit Tallinn in order to see this beautiful event. I was so impressed by the beauty of the ships last year that I decided to come to Tallinn this year as well to watch those historic ships,” said Oleg Panteleev.
Overall, Tallinn Maritime Days is an event which just can’t be missed!